POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/15

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“When something is really important to us — like football — we care about the facts. If ever there was an example of not watching the game film, this is it. The game film shows the facts.”

— Bill Clinton, quoted by the New York Times, urging voters to hold Republicans accountable for their role in creating the country’s economic problems.

Ayotte Holds Wide Lead in New Hampshire

A new WMUR/UNH poll in New Hampshire finds Kelly Ayotte (R) holds a solid 15 point lead over Paul Hodes (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 35%, with 12% undecided.

Key finding: 50% of those polled said they have “definitely decided” who they will vote for and Ayotte leads Hodes by a stunning 58% to 39% lead among those who said they have made a definite decision.

Best Negative Ad Ever?

This attack ad against Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz is priceless.

See more…

Gutierrez Will Not Run

Contrary to earlier reports, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) has decided “not to run for Chicago mayor — instead staying in Congress to lead the fight for immigration reform–but will be very involved in the expected election brawl to replace Mayor Richard Daley,” Lynn Sweet reports.

Reid Narrows Gap with Sandoval

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Nevada shows Brian Sandoval’s (R) lead over Rory Reid (D) in the race for governor cut to single digits, 52% to 43%.

Caveat: “So although it is now a single digit race that’s just a reflection of Reid picking up undecideds rather than winning over Sandoval supporters, and with Sandoval polling consistently over 50% the path to victory for Reid continues to look exceedingly difficult.”

A new Rasmussen survey shows Sandoval with a 15 point lead over Reid, 55% to 40%.

Murray Has Narrow Lead

A new SurveyUSA poll in Washington finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) leading a tight race with Dino Rossi (R), 50% to 47%.

However, three other polls in the last 72 hours show very different results: The Elway Poll has Murray leading by 15 points, CNN/Time/Opinion Research has Murray leading by 8 points, and Fox News has the Rossi up 1 point.

Very Tight in Alaska

A new Club for Growth poll in Alaska finds Joe Miller (R) leading in the U.S. Senate race with 33%, followed by Lisa Murkowski (R) at 31% and Scott McAdams (D) at 27%.

Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen survey also finds a close race with Miller at 35%, Murkowski at 34% and McAdams at 27%.

Push Polling in Illinois?

Democratic operatives have apparently begun “push polling” in Illinois, trying to drive a wedge between conservative voters and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk (R), theWall Street Journal reports.

“According to people who have heard it, the call talks up Libertarian candidate Mike Labno as the only true ‘pro-life’ candidate in a race that also includes Democratic State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones. It also referred to Kirk’s vote last year for Obama-backed legislation capping carbon emissions and setting up a system for polluters to trade greenhouse gas emissions credits.”

Midterm Wave Watch

Larry Sabato: “As alert readers of the Crystal Ball will note, we have not changed our projection of +47 Republican net House seats in many weeks. We made this prediction prior to Labor Day, and we were the first to say definitively that, in our estimate, the new House would be controlled by the GOP. At the time, our number startled many, though it now seems less surprising with just 19 days to go in the campaign.”

“As we pledged six weeks ago, we will tweak our House number in the final days of the campaign. If we were to do so today, we would expand the GOP gains by single-digits. But we see no reason to change it just now since (1) we’ve been pleased to see other nonpartisan prognosticators moving ever closer to our number; and (2) factors specific to the closest House contests will play out over the dwindling days of the 2010 campaign. We retain confidence in our prediction as an approximation of the final results.”

Meanwhile, the Cook Political Report now says “Democrats’ chances of losing at least 50 seats are now greater than their chances of holding losses under 45 seats.”

Greene Makes Surprise Appearance

South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene (D) made a surprise campaign appearance in the middle of a local news broadcast. In the video clip, the candidate is the man in a green hat with an “A” on it and wearing a green T-shirt standing over the reporter’s left shoulder waving and making rabbit ears.

A new Winthrop poll shows Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) crushing Greene in their Senate race, 58% to 11%, among likely voters.

See more…

Corbett’s Race to Lose in Pennsylvania

A new Magellan Strategies survey in Pennsylvania shows that Tom Corbett (R) leads Dan Onorato (D) by 10 points among likely voters in the race for governor, 48% to 38% with 11% undecided.

GOP Edge on Outside Spending Grows

In what could be the biggest story of this election cycle, the Wesleyan Media Projectfinds that outside groups backing Republican candidates have outspent groups backing Democrats by a 9-to1 margin over the last five weeks.

Candidate Listed as “Whitey” in Some Black Districts

The last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney (G) is misspelled as ‘Whitey’ on electronic-voting machines in nearly two dozen Chicago wards — about half in predominantly African-American areas — but election officials said the problem cannot be corrected by Election Day, the Chicago Sun Timesreports.

McMahon Struggles with Women Voters

In her race against Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D), Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon (R) “faces this major obstacle in her quest for the seat: Many female voters are turned off by her campaign,” reports the New York Times.

Though if elected McMahon would be Connecticut’s first female U.S. senator, many women “are troubled by what they see as the harshness of the attacks Ms. McMahon has leveled at Mr. Blumenthal, the wall-to-wall advertising she is underwriting with tens of millions of dollars, and her role in the wrestling industry, with its cartoonish and demeaning depictions of women.”

The latest Quinnipiac poll found Blumenthal with a nearly two-to-one lead among women, 63% to 32%.

A Spitzer Show Worth Watching

Eliot Spitzer’s new CNN show may have bombed, but his appearance in a new documentary about power, political hubris and corruption — Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer — is definitely worth watching. It’s very well done.

It’s not in theaters yet but you can watch it now via Amazon or iTunes.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich. While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”

— Rabbi Yehuda Levin, quoted by the New York Times, when told New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (R) apologized for his attack on gays.



Voter Confidence in Democrats Remains Low

The NBC Voter Confidence Index shows the American voters’ level of confidence in President Obama and Democrats is at about -40.

“That is worse than President Clinton and the Democrats in 1994 when Democrats lost 54 seats in the House, and worse than Ronald Reagan and the Republicans in 1982, when the GOP lost 26 House seats. It remains better than former President George W. Bush in 2006, who had a VCI of -65, and Republicans lost 30 seats.”

Two Polls Show LePage Leading in Maine

A new Critical Insights poll in Maine shows Paul LePage (R) leading Libby Mitchell (D) in the race for governor, 32% to 26%, with Eliot Cutler (I) at 11%.

Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen survey shows a closer race with LePage just edging Mitchell, 35% to 32%, and Cutler at 21%.

Rattner Settles Kickback Charges

To settle charges he paid kickbacks in deals involving the New York state pension fund, the New York Times reports that former Obama “car czar” Steven Rattner will accept a multiyear ban from the securities industry and pay a fine of more than $5 million.

Ben Smith: “That’s not a slap on the wrist, by any means: It’s forcing Rattner to find a new line of work, and it is at least tacitly an admission of quite serious wrongdoing. But it’s also not criminal charges or a jail sentence…”

Angle Holds Slight Lead in Nevada Poll

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Nevada shows Sharron Angle (R) edging Sen. Harry Reid (D) by two points in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 45%.

Said pollster Brad Coker: “I wouldn’t call it momentum so much as what you would expect to happen as undecided voters start to drift a little bit toward the nonincumbent. At the end of the day, if Nevada voters really want to get rid of Reid, they’ll vote for just about anybody. And I’ve always said this race is a referendum on Reid.”

Cheney Never Apologized

Nearly five years after Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot Harry Whittington on a hunting trip, the Washington Post asked if Cheney made a private apology when Whittington “who has been talking about his life and career for hours, suddenly draws silent.”

“I’m not going to go into that,” he says sharply after a short pause.

“Harry Whittington is too gracious to say it out loud, but he doesn’t dispute the notion, either. Nearly five years on, he’s still waiting for Dick Cheney to say he’s sorry.”

Quote of the Day

“What I believe is irrelevant.”

— Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R), in a debate last night, on whether she believes evolution is a myth.

Chaos in Massachsuetts Race Pushes Patrick to Lead

A new Suffolk University/7News poll in Massachusetts finds that the “treacherous defection” of Tim Cahill’s (I) running mate to Charlie Baker’s (R) camp has backfired and helped propel Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to a seven-point lead in the race for governor.

Patrick leads Baker, 46% to 39%, with Cahill at 10%.

Said David Paleologos: “Whether they like Deval Patrick or not, people are still saying he’s run the best campaign and he has the best temperament to be governor. He’s on the goal line. But he hasn’t gotten the touchdown yet.”

Blumenthal Widens Lead in Connecticut

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut shows Richard Blumenthal (D) has opened up a double-digit lead once again over Linda McMahon (R) for U.S. Senate, 54% to 43%, among likely voters.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “After McMahon had climbed to within 3 points of Blumenthal, he has stopped her momentum and increased his lead by 8 points in two weeks. While September wasn’t very good for Blumenthal, perhaps like Reggie Jackson, he could be called ‘Mr. October.’ Fueled by a surge in support from women, Democrats and independents, Blumenthal has his best poll numbers since the start of the fall campaign.”

Abercrombie Clings to Narrow Lead in Hawaii

A new Honolulu Civil Beat poll in Hawaii shows Neil Abercrombie (D) with a slight lead over Duke Aiona (R) in the race for governor, 47% to 44%.

Gutierrez Likely to Enter Race for Chicago Mayor

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) will jump into the Chicago mayor’s race, according to NBC Chicago.

Said a source: “Even if he comes in third, if he gathers 60% of the Latino vote, then he hopes to walk into runoff contenders to barter ‘here’s what I need.”

poll recently commissioned by Gutierrez finds Rahm Emanuel leading with 27%, Tom Dart at 19%, Carol Moseley Braun at 9% and Gutierrez at 8%.

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